How to fix an iPhone 11 Pro Max that is not recognized in iTunes

Apple’s very own data management system, iTunes plays a vital role when it comes to adding new iOS contents and keeping them optimized and organized. To use iTunes with your iPhone, you will need to install it on a compatible computer first. Then you can connect your iPhone using an Apple-supplied USB/Lightning cable to the computer. Considering that there are no issues with the USB ports, cable/connector, and other necessary components, iTunes should be able to detect your iPhone immediately. Otherwise, you’ll have to rule out individual factors that might have hindered the connection. The solutions I’ve lined up below are used to fix a problem on the new iphone 11 Pro Max that is not recognized in iTunes. Read on to find out why this happens and how to make your iOS device sync with iTunes. 

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Troubleshooting an iPhone 11 Pro Max that is not recognized in iTunes

The underlying cause of this problem is either with iTunes or iOS device. Hence, you’ll need to troubleshoot both. The procedures I’ve lined up below are applicable methods to rule out common factors on the computer or iTunes and iPhone 11 Pro Max that interfere with or ruin the normal syncing process.

Before troubleshooting, check your computer’s USB ports as well as the USB cable or Lightning port and make sure they’re all functional. After ensuring that every peripheral component is working, you may proceed and troubleshoot both your iPhone and the computer.

The first three solutions are used to eliminate common factors that can prevent an iPhone from connecting to iTunes. Retry syncing your iPhone 11 Pro Max after performing each of the following procedures:


First solution: Reboot your iPhone (soft reset).

To eliminate random iOS glitches that might have ruined the syncing process between your iOS device and iTunes, reboot or soft reset your iPhone. But before you do, be sure to disconnect the lightning cable from the computer’s USB port. Once it’s disconnected, follow these steps to soft reset or reboot your phone:

  1. Simultaneously press and hold the Side and Volume Up buttons for a few seconds.
  2. Release both buttons when the Slide to Power off bar appears.
  3. Swipe or drag the bar to turn your device off.
  4. After about 30 seconds, press and hold the Side button and then release when the Apple logo appears.

Wait for your iPhone to finish rebooting and once it’s back up and running, retry connecting it to iTunes then see if iTunes is now able to recognize it.

Second solution: Disable restrictions on your iPhone.

When enabled, restrictions on your iPhone may also limit it from accessing iTunes services. To eliminate this from the underlying causes, try to disable restrictions on your iPhone 11 Pro Max to lift all app restrictions including access to iTunes. Just follow these steps:

  1. Tap Settings from the Home screen.
  2. Then tap on Screen Time.
  3. Select Content & Privacy Restrictions then toggle the switch to turn the feature off.

Try connecting your iPhone to iTunes again while restrictions are disabled and see if that makes some positive outcome. If iTunes is able to detect your device, re-enable restrictions with some some exceptions to iTunes.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 Pro that won’t connect to App Store


Third solution: Reset all settings to fix your iPhone 11 Pro Max that’s not recognized in iTunes.

To clear out invalid settings or customization on your device, resetting all settings can help. This will erase all your current settings including customized information. Any errors associated with incorrect settings will also be eliminated. If you wish to try it, then you can refer to these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, tap on Settings.
  2. Select General.
  3. Scroll down and tap on Reset.
  4. Tap Reset All Settings from the given options.
  5. Enter your passcode if prompted to continue.
  6. Confirm action by tapping on Reset All Settings again

Wait for your iPhone to finish resetting. It will restart by itself when the reset is complete. By then you can start enabling necessary features on your iPhone so you can use them again as usual.

If none of the above procedures is able to fix the problem, continue with the next solutions to troubleshoot iTunes on your computer.


Fourth solution: Quit iTunes then restart the computer.

Computer programs also give into random errors and that includes iTunes. Should this be just a random glitch, quitting the flawed app and restarting the computer will usually handle it. Thus, if you haven’t already disconnect your iPhone from the computer then quit iTunes. Also consider unplugging any other external devices from your computer’s USB ports except for wired keyboard and mouse. Then restart your computer as you normally do. This can help eliminate random system errors that caused apps to stop working. When your computer is finished rebooting, launch iTunes app again then connect your iPhone 11 Pro Max using the original USB cable or Lightning cable. Be sure not to open any other apps except for iTunes to prevent any of these from causing conflicts and ruining the syncing process.

ALSO READ: How to fix an iPhone 11 Pro that won’t send emails via Mail app, email sending failed


Fifth solution: Update iTunes to the latest version, if possible.

Keeping apps up to date is recommended to ensure security and stability. And that notion applies to iTunes app. In order to avoid system conflicts, the latest version of iTunes app must be used. If you’re not sure if you’re using the updated version, follow these steps to confirm:

If you downloaded iTunes from the Apple website, here’s what you should do:

  1. Open iTunes app on your computer.
  2. Navigate to the menu bar located at the top of the iTunes screen.
  3. Click Help.
  4. Then select the option to Check for Updates.
  5. Follow the onscreen commands to install the latest version of iTunes available on your computer.

If you don’t see the option to Check for Updates in the Help menu, it means that you have downloaded iTunes from the Microsoft Store. This means that your iTunes app updates are automatically installed whenever new versions are released.

You can also download the latest version of iTunes app from the Microsoft Store.

If you’re using iTunes on a Mac, iTunes update should be integrated with the latest macOS version. Thus, your iTunes app is already up to date, if your computer is already running on macOS Catalina. Else, follow these steps to manually install update for iTunes on your Mac:

  1. Open the App Store on your Mac.
  2. Click on Updates at the top of the App Store screen.
  3. Click the Install option if any iTunes updates are available.

Don’t forget to restart your computer after installing necessary software updates. Doing so will ensure that all new system changes are properly applied. After your computer reboots, launch iTunes app then connect your iPhone to the computer again to see if iTunes already recognized it.


Sixth solution: Manage security software on your computer.

If you’ve installed and activated any security software on your computer, it could be the one that’s preventing your iPhone from syncing or connecting to iTunes. Your iPhone will be tagged among other external devices the moment it’s attached to your computer’s USB port. If the security software on your computer perceives some threat, it will block or prevent access to your iPhone. As a result, iTunes won’t be able to detect or recognize your iOS device even if it’s already connected. To clear this out, try to disable (temporarily) any security software like firewall or antivirus on your computer then retry connecting your iPhone while they’re not active. If iTunes is able to recognize your iPhone 11 Pro Max without any security software running, then that denotes the need for you to reconfigure your security settings and set some exceptions to allow access to your iPhone. You can ask more help on how to configure these settings from the software developer or OEM/support team. 


Last resort: Update USB drivers on your computer.

For your computer to communicate with external (USB) devices, it needs a specific driver. In this case, the required driver is the iPhone driver. If you’re using a Windows 10 computer, make sure that the correct iPhone driver is installed and that the driver is up to date.

You can manually install the required iPhone drivers using the Windows Update service in Windows 10. Here’s one of the many ways to get this done:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Windows computer using the original Lightning cable or USB cable that came with it. 
  2. While your phone is connected, launch iTunes app on your computer.
  3. If you’re getting an error message like driver not installed, go to Windows 10 Settings-> Update & security-> Windows Update menu. Once you get there, click on Check for Updates button. This will trigger automatic downloading and installation of the iPhone drivers.

Wait until all required drivers are installed then quit and restart the iTunes app. iTunes should then be able to detect or recognize your iPhone.

For further assistance in driver management in other Windows versions, you may contact Microsoft Support.

If you’re using iTunes on Mac, driver updates are usually embedded in system updates. Thus if your Mac OS is updated, the same goes with drivers.

  • To check if any updates are available, simply click on the Apple menu in the top-left corner of the screen then click on Software Update. Any available updates will then be displayed and thus, can be downloaded. Otherwise, you’ll see a message prompt, telling that your software is up to date.

For further assistance in configuring iPhone drivers on your Mac, you can reach out to Apple Support.

ALSO READ: How to fix iPhone X AirDrop that stopped working in iOS 13, cannot transfer files via AirDrop


What to do if your iPhone 11 Pro Max is still not recognized in iTunes?

If all else failed, then this is when you should consider opting for iTunes alternatives. So far, there are a lot of highly credible iOS data management systems you can use aside from iTunes. Among the leading brands are FileApp, File Hub, Readdle’s Documents, File Manager, File Master and MyMedia, to name some. Reading previous reviews will help determine which tool to use. 

You can also escalate the problem to Apple Support or Microsoft Support for further assistance and more advanced solutions. There might be some advanced settings on your computer that needs to be modified so that iTunes wouldn’t have a hard time recognizing your iOS device. If you’re living in a place that’s close to an Apple-authorized service center, paying a quick visit and asking an iPhone technician for some help can also be considered among the last options.

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